Some programs you install on Windows automatically create and run background services. A background service helps the program run and do specific tasks without user interaction or foreground UI. For example, a backup application might add a service to automatically backup your computer in the background. While this is good, the background services list grows and becomes unwieldy over time. For instance, uninstalling a program might not remove its service. In the worst-case scenario, unnecessary background services can negatively impact the system’s performance. Thankfully, you can either use Command Prompt, PowerShell, or Autoruns to remove a service on Windows.
In this quick and easy tutorial, let me show you the commands to delete or remove a Windows service.
Deleting a service from Windows is an advanced user task and should only be performed when it is absolutely necessary and you know what you are doing. Additionally, never ever remove system services. It can brick your OS and might require a complete reinstallation of Windows. While removing services belonging to third-party applications, uninstall the application first and only then remove its service, if it still exists.
Finally, create a full backup and proceed.
Remove a service from Windows 11 and 10
You can either use the PowerShell or Command Prompt. Depending on the shell of your choice, follow the relevant steps. If you don’t want to use command-line tools then follow the third method which shows how to do it using Autoruns GUI.
1. Using PowerShell
You can use PowerShell’s Get-Service and Remove-Service cmdlets to find and remove unwanted services from both Windows 11 and 10. The only requirement is that you have administrator rights. Let me show you how to do it.
First thing, open the Terminal window. You can do it by right-clicking on the taskbar Start icon and choosing the “Terminal (Admin)” option. Windows 10 users can open PowerShell by selecting the “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” option. When you see the UAC prompt, press the “Yes” button to continue.
Get-Services command in the PowerShell window and press the Enter key on your keyboard. It immediately lists all the available services on your computer, with their name, running state, and service description. From the list, find the service you want to remove and copy its “Name” from the middle column. To copy it, select the name with your mouse and press “Ctrl + C.” The name is required to remove it from Windows.
After copying the service name you want to remove, type the
Remove-Service -name "Service-Name" command and press the Enter key. Don’t forget to replace “Service-Name” in the command with the service name you copied in the previous step. This will instantly remove the selected service from Windows.
Close the Terminal/PowerShell window and reboot your system to finish the process.
2. Using Command Prompt
If you like to use Command Prompt, you can use the
sc queryex command to retrieve the Windows services information and then use the
delete parameter to remove the service from Windows. Here’s how to do it.
Just like with PowerShell, open Command Prompt as an admin. For that, you can search for Command Prompt in the Start menu and choose the Run as Administrator option. You can also open Windows Terminal as an admin and open a new Command Prompt tab in it.
sc queryex type=service state=all command in the Command Prompt window and press Enter. It lists all the services and their state. From the list, find the service you want to remove and copy its “Service Name” (not the Display Name).
Once you have the service name, run the command
sc delete Service-Name while replacing the “Service-Name” in the command with the actual service name you copied earlier. This command will instantly delete the target service name. If you have more services to remove on Windows, replicate the steps for each service.
Close the Command Prompt window and reboot your system to finish the process.
3. Using Autoruns (Sysinternals app)
If you don’t want to use command-line tools such as Command Prompt, PowerShell, or Terminal and need a visual GUI to remove a service from Windows 10 and 11, you can use the Autoruns software, an official Microsoft tool from the Sysinternals suite. The best thing is, using Autoruns is safer because you can hide all Windows OS services to make sure that you don’t accidentally delete a system service. Let’s get started.
First of all, go to the Sysinternals website and click on the Download Autoruns link to download the Autoruns zip file.
Right-click on the downloaded zip file, select the Extract All option, and then press the “Extract” button in the prompt. This will extract the contents of the zip file to a new folder within the same directory.
Open the extracted folder, right-click on the “Autoruns.exe” file, and select the “Run as Administrator” option. This will open Autoruns with admin rights. At the start, click the “Agree” button to continue.
Once the Autoruns application has been opened, click on the “Services” tab and ensure that the “Hide Windows entries” option is selected on the top nav bar. This option hides all the services related to Windows OS.
Next, find and right-click on the service you want to remove and select the “Delete” option. Click the “Ok” button in the confirmation window.
Note: If you did not open Autoruns with administrator rights, you might see the “Autoruns Access Denied” prompt. Simply, click on the “Run as administrator” option to rerun the task with admin rights.
Whether you use PowerShell, Command Prompt, or Autoruns, removing a service on Windows 11 or 10 is fairly straightforward. While the PowerShell or Command Prompt methods use built-in commands, the Autoruns software provides a visual (GUI) way to delete a service. Moreover, Autoruns software also allows you to hide services related to Windows OS. This feature makes it much safer since you are only dealing with services related to applications not critical to Windows.
All in all, if you are comfortable with command-line tools and can differentiate between Windows and non-Windows services, you can follow the PowerShell or Command Prompt methods. Conversely, if you want to be safer and need a visual GUI then follow the Autoruns method. Whichever method you follow, always create a backup just to be safe. If something goes wrong, you can restore back up and get back your system to a running state and try again.
I hope this small Windows tutorial helped you.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email or comment below, and I will try to help as much as possible.